Entlebucher Mountain Dog Breed Information and Buying advice

Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Entlebucher Mountain Dog?

Quick Entlebucher Mountain Dog Facts

Average Size of Adult
Medium (3/5)
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Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
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High (3/3)
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Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
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High (3/3)
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Medium (2/3)
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Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
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Breed Group
Working (7/8)
No (2/2)

Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Entlebucher Cattle Dog)


The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest of the Swiss mountain breeds. Originally bred as a working dog, the Entlebucher would traditionally herd and guard cattle. Although not quite as popular as the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog has a strong reputation for being an excellent working breed and family pet. The Entlebucher is social, great around children and is suited to a family environment. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is well proportioned with a beautiful tricolour coat and a gentle nature. 

Physical Appearance 

Despite being smaller than the other mountain dog breeds from Switzerland, the Entlebucher is still a medium sized dog with the same tricolour coat. This breed is well proportioned with a wedge-shaped head and a large black nose. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog has large eyes that are dark brown to hazel in colour with black rims. The expression of this mountain dog is alert and endearing. 

The large, triangular ears of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog are set high and hang down with a wide base and rounded tip. The breed has a long, well-muscled neck and strong, sloping shoulders. A Entlebucher Mountain Dog’s legs are strong and powerful with compact feet and thick pads. 

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog has an athletic appearance with a slightly tucked belly and a well developed chest. Their tails have a white tip and are set high, the tail can be long and carried down when resting and high when on the go or it can be naturally bobbed too. 

The dense double coat of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is beautiful. Entlebuchers are always tricolour and they have a dense undercoat and a gloddy overcoat. 

How big do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs get? 

  • Height - Male: 44 - 50cm Female: 42 - 48cm

  • Weight - Male: 25 - 30kg Female 25 - 30kg

Character Traits

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is an intelligent dog that is used for herding in Switzerland. This means they have lots of energy, are loyal and hard-working. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are fast learners but are best suited to experienced owners who are familiar with their training and handling needs. These dogs are people-orientated and thrive with an active family that loves to spend time outside. This breed is ideal for living in the countryside and is excellent if you want a dependable guard dog. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs intelligent? Yes, they are highly intelligent and learn new things quickly. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs affectionate? Yes, they form strong bonds with their family.

Do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have high or low energy levels? High energy levels.

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs loyal? Yes, these dogs are very loyal. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs playful? Yes, they can be very playful and particularly enjoy interactive games.

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs aggressive? No, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are rarely aggressive.

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs easy to train? Yes, they are easy to train when in the right hands. Entlebuchers can pick up bad behaviours just as quickly as good ones which is why firm, consistent training is essential. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs good guard dogs? Yes, they are natural watchdogs and will stand their ground to protect their owners and property.

Ability to Socialise 

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are great family dogs, they bond strongly with their family and get on well with children. This breed is particularly well suited to families with older children as the playful nature and endless energy of the Entlebucher makes them an excellent playmate. When it comes to people they don’t know, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs tend to be suspicious. They are excellent guard dogs and you are likely to hear the deep bark of the Entlebucher when they want to alert you of something. 

Do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs get along with other pets? Yes, these dogs will get on well with any other pets they have grown up around.  

Do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs get along with other dogs? These dogs are quiet and easygoing, they tend to be more interested in their human family than other dogs. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs good with kids? Yes, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are generally excellent around children as they are friendly and devoted. Interactions should always be supervised as the Entlebucher Mountain Dog can be a little bit boisterous when playing.

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs good with strangers? No, this breed rarely likes interacting with strangers, they tend to be aloof or reserved around people they don’t know.

Lifestyle Suitability

The Entlebucher is a high energy dog that needs plenty of space to run and burn off energy. This breed is best suited to homes in the countryside where they have access to a secure garden. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have been known to bark at every sound they hear and hate to be left on their own. They also struggle with extreme heat, preferring cold weather to hot. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a great dog for an active family where one person is always at home. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs good for first-time owners? No, these working dogs are best handled and trained by someone that is familiar with their needs. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs hypoallergenic? No

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs prone to drooling? No

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs a good breed for apartment living? No, they are high energy dogs and need a lot of space to run around. 

Do  Entlebucher Mountain Dogs shed a lot? Yes, they shed moderately throughout the year and heavily twice a year. 

Do  Entlebucher Mountain Dogs bark a lot? Yes, they have a reputation for barking at any noise they hear. 

Can Entlebucher Mountain Dogs be left alone at home? No, this breed forms strong bonds with their family and hates to be left alone.

Can Entlebucher Mountain Dogs handle the heat? No, the thick double coat of the Entlebucher means they can get hot quickly so can overheat easily during summer. 

Can Entlebucher Mountain Dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs prefer cooler temperatures to warmer temperatures. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs sensitive to loud noises? Yes, they are very alert and will often respond and react to the noise around them. 

General Health & Health Issues

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have a long lifespan of between 12 - 14 years. Overall, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a healthy breed. They are known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues including: 

  • Entlebucher urinary syndrome - this is a urinary tract malformation that is seen in the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. It is usually asymptomatic although it can cause incontinence issues and kidney disease. There are a few treatment options including medication and surgery. 

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) - this disease impacts a dog’s vision. This is not a painful condition but eventually leads to blindness. PRA is not curable or reversible but many dogs learn to live without their vision. 

  • Cataracts - abnormal cloudiness in the eye is a cataract and it causes reduced vision. Cataracts can be removed if needed but dogs are often able to cope with them well. A vet can do checks to determine the cause of the cataracts and whether or not it is appropriate to remove them. 

  • Hip dysplasia - Hip dysplasia is painful and is caused by the abnormal development of one or both hip joints. This condition causes swelling, discomfort and can lead to arthritis. Treatment options include pain relief, controlled exercise, weight control and surgery. 

  • Heart murmurs - this is heart vibrations that disturb the blood flow. The symptoms of heart murmurs depend on the configuration, grade, and location of the murmur. Heart murmurs in dogs are graded from I (barely audible) to VI (very loud and can be felt through the chest wall). Treating heart murmurs can include medication, special diets and supportive care. 

  • Ectopic ureter - This is a defect that means the ureters do not enter the bladder as they should, this interferes with the bladder’s ability to retain urine. Symptoms of ectopic ureter include frequent urination, incontinence and bladder infections. Treatment options include surgical or laser repair. 

How long do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs live? - 12 - 14 years

Exercise & Play Time

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are working dogs with lots of energy. To keep them happy they need at least 60 minutes of exercise per day. Ideally, this should be off lead in a secure area so they can run around and burn off some energy. Care must be taken when Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are off-lead as they like to herd livestock and wildlife. Entlebuchers are the perfect hiking companion or running partner. Another great outlet for an Entlebucher Mountain Dogs' energy is dog sports; they excel in obedience, herding and tracking sports. 

How much exercise does a Entlebucher Mountain Dog dog need? - At least 60 minutes per day

Do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs like water play? Yes, they tend to enjoy water and swimming. 

Nutrition & Feeding

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs love food and they are prone to gaining weight. It’s important to monitor their daily food intake and ensure they are getting enough exercise each day to prevent health issues. As a rough guideline, a Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppy needs between 240 - 475g of high-quality dry food per day. The actual amount will depend on the dog’s age and build. This is just an estimate, every dog is unique so needs to have a personal dietary plan made to ensure they are getting the right amount of food each day. 

Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs prone to weight gain? Yes, they are prone to putting on weight if they are eating too much or not exercising enough.

How much should I feed a Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppy? Between 240 - 475g of high-quality dry food per day depending on their age and build. 

How much should I feed an adult Entlebucher Mountain Dog dog? Between 270 - 425g of high-quality dry food per day depending on their age, weight and activity level. 

Care & Maintenance

Grooming: the Entlebucher Mountain Dog has low grooming needs. Their double coat needs to be brushed a couple of times a week to prevent tangles. When the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is shedding heavily, daily brushing helps to keep this under control. In addition to brushing, Entlebuchers need to have their nails trimmed and ears checked/ cleaned periodically to help prevent health problems and infections. 

Emotional Care: Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are happiest when they have a job to do. This breed likes to be busy and hates to be left alone. Entlebuchers are highly intelligent and easy to train as they are eager to please their owners. They can be quite demanding as they have so much energy and love to be out walking, training or participating in dog sports. If a Entlebucher doesn’t get enough physical and mental stimulation they can be destructive as a way of relieving their stress and boredom. 

History of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Originating from Switzerland, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest of the Swiss mountain breeds. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are thought to be one of the oldest breeds and are believed to have descended from ancient Mollosers. Mollosers were brought to Switzerland by Romans in the first BC and many Swiss dogs are believed to have descended from them. Entlebuchers were bred to herd livestock down from the mountains, this is different from the larger mountain dog breeds that were often used to pull carts and guard herds rather than herd them.

During the 1900s, numbers of purebred Entlebuchers were dropping due to cross breeding with German Shepherds. Professor Heim and other breed enthusiasts helped to save the Entlebucher Mountain Dog from extinction but their breed numbers still remain low today. The breed can be found in various parts of the world including the UK and America but remains a rare breed with low population numbers. 

Interesting Facts About Entlebucher Mountain Dogs

  • Entlebucher Mountain Dogs originated in Switzerland 

  • They are believed to be descended from ancient Mollosers

  • They were bred to herd cattle

  • They are closely related to Bernese Mountain Dogs

  • The Entlebucher Mountain Dog almost went extinct in the 1900s due to crossbreeding with German Shepherds

Getting a Entlebucher Mountain Dog Puppy

Buying a puppy is a big commitment, take a look at our buying guide to help you prepare for your new dog. Connecting with breeders online is one of the easiest ways to find a new dog but always be aware of scams and bad practices. All breeders on Puppies have been vetted to ensure they are responsible. You can take a look at our Entlebucher Mountain Dog page to see if there are any puppies available in your area. 

How much does a Entlebucher Mountain Dog cost to buy? £700 - £2000

How much does a Entlebucher Mountain Dog cost to feed? £50 - £70 per month

How much does insurance for a Entlebucher Mountain Dog cost? Around £60 per month but this varies depending on the level of cover. 

There are not many Entlebucher Mountain Dog breeders in the UK so you may need to join a waiting list if you think this is the right breed for you. An alternative option is to speak to your local dog rescue centre about adopting an Entlebucher. These associations may be able to help you in your search: 

Talk to the Entlebucher Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain about adoption

Rehome a Entlebucher Mountain Dog with the Dogs Trust